the prettiest girl of all

Claudia is one of those hip girls with the right words and the right blood. Bank account blood that buys her big shoes and pays for her expensive apartment. Blood that gives you blonde hair and a straight nose. Thin thighs and slate blue eyes.

Claudia and Claude have been fucking on and off for three years. In the beginning they joked about the closeness of their names while they blew rails off a glass top coffee table in the centre of their Chelsea apartment.

Claudia’s father’s Chelsea apartment.

Claudia said things like, ‘No one gets me, like, you… (insert dramatic sigh here). Claude, you get it.’

Claude usually never heard what Claudia said other than, ‘Oh that’s him on the phone now, hold on I’ll tell him to meet me…’ or ‘My parents said we can totally have the apartment in Germany for two weeks this summer! Oh my God I lo… (fade, dwindle, fade) you Claude.’

The first time I saw Claudia she was sitting on a park bench on west 14th writing in a notebook. Claudia tells people she’s an artist. She has many degrees, far more than you or I can count. And she’s smarter than us… and prettier.

Claude is fucking Justine in Claudia’s bed while she sits on 14th creating deep characters that listen to grunge rock and dye their hair black. Emo types with chipped fingernail polish and bad skin. The sort that Claudia feels bad for. Claudia feels bad for nearly anyone that isn’t her… she knows how tough that must be.

I’m walking down 8th Avenue when I see her sitting on the corner. She’s intensely involved in a phrase that reads something close to, ‘This hole in my heart is deeper than what anyone sees,’ when I accidentally stumble over her outstretched right leg.

‘What the fuck?!’ she yelps jumping to attention. Her foundation cracks and her left contact lens slips slightly off centre to reveal a hue she refers to as ‘ordinary brown’.

Before I have time to apologize she stuffs her leather notebook into a purple backpack plastered with badges that read, ‘End whaling now’ and ‘Peace not war’.

‘Watch where you’re fucking going!’

I could have admitted that my accidental kick was quite deliberate. I might have said the reason I wanted her attention was because I used to shoot with Justine, and I know what she’s carrying… and I know what she’s infecting her boyfriend with about twenty blocks north.

I guess I’m not pretty enough.